Friends! Readying for Turkey Day? Are you cooking or dining out? What kind of attitude are you sportin’ to go with that?
For years and years and years, our wee family traveled to Owensboro, Kentucky, where my Aunt whom I’m named for, produced the largest Thanksgiving feast I can recall. Cousins traveled from afar and we mimicked the children’s book, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.
Years later, my cousins in Florida hosted Thanksgiving. Those were some wonderful memory making years of traveling with the boys, Woody eating sand during his first trip to the beach, John Jr. saying we’d better stop for gas when he’d slept the entire night, and Gordy waking but not crying, going right back to sleep provided he could hold a ball of any kind. We could pack a station wagon better than the Beverly Hillbillies.
A few more years rolled by and we found ourselves hosting Thanksgiving in Louisville. Can’t say I had the best attitude…Juggling teenagers and multiple houseguests wasn’t my strong suit. One afternoon John came out into the hallway and proclaimed, “We’re running a hotel.” Had I written a sequel to Cynthia’s book, it would’ve been, The Relatives Came and Stayed and Stayed…
One funny memory after the other accumulated. Our lesson in that season was a novel idea: BE THANKFUL DURING THANKSGIVING…
Best quote ever came from my Uncle Bruno, God rest his soul. Upon his departure, he’d say, “You worry, I’ll be back!”
So, as Thanksgiving is upon us, (Praise the Lord my in-laws have been hosting Thanksgiving the past few years, so we just show up!) let’s look at a couple of excellent authors’ books on grace, one per week to help us add a side of grace to our Thanksgiving meal.
First up, is a fab book by Kyle Idleman called Grace is Greater—God’s Plan to Overcome Your Past, Redeem Your Pain, and Rewrite Your Story.
Kyle writes just like he talks in a fun, easy way, making you feel like you’re sitting down to a cup of coffee with him. His humor dotted throughout the book will keep you laughing while his teaching points will move you. (Killer funny footnotes!)
This book was inspired from a Scripture that one day hit Kyle between the eyes:
Kyle shows us that “when we miss grace, things become toxic.”
He says, “My prayer is that you won’t miss grace but rather will powerfully experience the grace effect in your life—and no matter what you’ve done, no matter what’s been done to you, you will personally experience the truth that grace is greater…”
The book’s divided into three parts: Grace is greater than your mistakes, your hurts, and your circumstances. Kyle covers any possible scenario you may be experiencing. If you’re thinking, “Yeah, but you don’t understand my life right now.” Maybe so, but God does and Kyle will prove it to you.
He explores all the uglies:
Guilt (my challenge du jour),
Quite the shopping list!
Kyle’s honesty is refreshing and reassuring, reminding us none of us are perfect. He shows us example after example of grace, opening our eyes to see people as Jesus sees them. He says, “I’ll say it in a way that might make you more uncomfortable: the litmus test for the reality of grace you’ve received from God is the extent to which you give grace and offer forgiveness to the person who’s hurt you the most and deserves it the least.” OUCH! We’d better re-read that for a minute…
Another way to look at this comes from Kyle’s friend, pastor Pete Wilson. He says, “What you inhale is what you will exhale…If you’re intentional to inhale God’s grace and forgiveness, you will also exhale it in your relationships. But if you’re breathing in anger and rage, you’re going to breathe it out in your relationships.”
In reading the many wonderful endorsements of Kyle’s book, I laughed at one gal who said she was at first skeptical about another book on grace. I was with her there. In fact, my all-time favorite book on grace is by my dear friend, Liz Curtis Higgs: Embrace Grace—Welcome to the Forgiven Life.
But wait for this: Liz happens to be one of Kyle’s endorsers! She says, “…Grace is Greater is practical and inspirational, providing a clear path to freedom through God’s amazing gift of grace. I loved it!” Friends, this is HUGE not only coming from Liz, but I maintain grace is one of the most difficult subjects to articulate.
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and snag a copy of Grace is Greater before Thanksgiving and before those relatives roll in! Bravo to Kyle.
‘Til next time~!